Tigers continue power surge in 8-5 state win
You could say a power surge has helped push the Douglas Tigers deep into Nevada’s high school softball postseason.
Try these numbers out for size: 12 home runs by five different players in six games.
And on Thursday, the Tigers continued that surge when Chloie Pratt, Alyssa Smokey and Haley Doughty slammed home runs in an 8-5 first round victory against Basic at the NIAA 4A State Softball Tournament in Reno.
Pratt’s two-run homer in the first inning provided a 2-0 lead, Smokey’s solo shot in the fourth tied the game at 3-all and Doughty’s two-run shot ignited a four-run seventh inning rally that put the Tigers in control on an overcast afternoon at Bishop Manogue High School.
Douglas (25-11-1 overall record) advanced to the winner’s bracket final of the four-team state tournament and faces Spanish Springs (31-3) Friday at 2:30 p.m. at Manogue. Spanish Springs beat Shadow Ridge, 7-6, in eight innings late Thursday afternoon. Douglas has hit 10 home runs in its four region and state tournament wins over the past eight days.
“I’d rather we didn’t live and die by the home run,” Douglas coach John Glover said with a chuckle.
He’s not complaining, though. Especially since the Tigers have been making plays with their bats and in the field.
Against Basic (26-12), Amanda Hoffman pitched four-plus innings to pick up the win and Deztiny Vaughan came on to work the final three innings to earn credit for the save. The Wolves finished with eight hits, four of which came in the seventh inning.
Douglas scored four insurance runs in the top of the seventh to take an 8-3 lead. Jasmine McNinch singled on a full-count pitch and then Doughty drove another full-count pitch over the fence in left-center field. After two outs, Smokey doubled to left field, followed by RBI singles from Hoffman and Kettja Bennett.
“The seventh inning was huge,” Douglas coach John Glover said. “We needed that insurance.”
Hannah Barr, Sanoe Helenihi and Angela Santillanes hit consecutive singles to load the bases with no outs in the bottom of the seventh. Mikayla Berg hit a chopper through the left side of the infield to drive one run home and another scored on Alyssa Ferguson’s fielder’s choice ground out. Douglas avoided further damage, however, when Hoffman caught a line drive at first base for a game-ending double play.
After Hoffman walked Basic’s leadoff hitter in the fifth inning, Glover brought Vaughan in from the bullpen. The sophomore right-hander retired three of the next four batters, capped by a swinging strikeout to retire the side.
“I thought she might have been getting a little tired and they were getting to the third time through the order,” Glover said of his decision to change pitchers. “We have confidence in both of them (Hoffman and Vaughan) … all three, actually (Bennett is the third pitcher).”
Six players — McNinch, Doughty, Pratt, Smokey, Peck and Bennett — all went 2-for-4 to lead Douglas offensively. The Tigers finished with 13 hits overall against Basic starter Shelby Basso.
“I thought they were resilient,” Glover said of the Tigers. “They stuck with it through 21 outs and they finally got through to her (Blasso).”
Note: In Thursday’s other first round game, Spanish Springs rallied to score three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning and then closed out its win over Shadow Ridge on Rylee Retzer’s walk-off homer to lead off the eighth. The Cougars came back from 4-0 and 6-3 deficits to win the game.